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GLAAD spotlights LGBT Russian people and families

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GLAAD Global Voices launches to give voice to LGBT Russian people; refutes Russian President Vladimir Putin's, Sochi mayor's anti-LGBT remarks

Rich Ferraro
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

January 29, 2014


NEW YORK, NY – GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today unveiled its GLAAD Global Voices: 2014 Winter Olympics Playbook, a resource guide for journalists and spokespeople covering the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The Playbook will be distributed in four languages to thousands of journalists traveling to Sochi and/or covering the 2014 Winter Olympics and provides essential background information, story ideas, and profiles of LGBT Russians to speak about Russia's anti-LGBT laws.

The Playbook is viewable here: http://glaad.org/russia

The GLAAD Global Voices: 2014 Sochi Olympics Playbook also marks the launch of the GLAAD Global Voices program, which aims to build support for LGBT equality across the globe by sharing culture-changing stories of LGBT people and families in national and international media.

"As all eyes turn to Sochi, it is critical that the media shine light not only on the anti-LGBT Russian policies, but on the real stories of the horrific persecution facing LGBT people and families in Russia. These families cannot be kept invisible any longer," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

GLAAD is working alongside international LGBT organizations and athletes to secure media coverage and spark a global dialogue about the stories of LGBT Russians.  For several months, GLAAD has also been working with LGBT Russians, as well as U.S.-based Russian LGBT advocacy organization RUSA LGBT, to ensure that the stories of LGBT Russians are prominently featured across mainstream media outlets. GLAAD will continue to garner media coverage of LGBT Russians, including those who have lost their jobs for being LGBT, those who have had to flee Russia to escape persecution, and those who continue to advocate for LGBT people within Russia.

Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the horrific conditions facing LGBT people in Russia and wrongfully equated LGBT people with pedophiles, saying that LGBT visitors, including tennis legend Billie Jean King of the U.S. Olympic delegation, have nothing to fear at the Olympics, as long as they "leave kids alone." This week during an interview with BBC, Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov of Sochi said of gay people: "We do not have them in our city."

The GLAAD Global Voices: 2014 Sochi Olympics Playbook includes facts from leading medical organizations and resources that debunk recent comments from Putin and other Russian officials.

“As a gay mom of twins, my heart goes out to the gay and lesbian Russian people raising families under incredibly harsh circumstances,” said Ellis. "Putin and other Russian officials can peddle fear and misinformation, but pushing outdated and false stereotypes will continue to threaten the success of the 2014 Winter Olympics.”

For more information about GLAAD's ongoing work to build support for equality in Russia and abroad, visit http://glaad.org/russia.